Flynn Pleads the Fifth Before Jan. 6 Panel

He discussed martial law as Trump fought to overturn election results
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2022 4:31 AM CST
Flynn Pleads the Fifth Before Jan. 6 Panel
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn speaks at a Trump rally, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

(Newser) – Another high-profile Donald Trump ally has pleaded the Fifth Amendment in an appearance before the House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol. A lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn said Thursday that the retired general complied with a subpoena to appear before the committee Thursday "and, on advice of counsel, exercised his 5th amendment right to decline to answer the Committee’s questions," Politico reports. "This privilege protects all Americans, not just General Flynn," lawyer David Warrington said.

In its letter to Flynn, the committee asked Flynn about a Dec. 18 Oval Office meeting "during which participants discussed "seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency," and "invoking certain national security emergency powers," the Washington Post reports. The panel noted that the day before the meeting, Flynn spoke to conservative network Newsmax about the possibility of seizing voting machines and declaring martial law to "rerun" the election Trump lost to President Biden. Flynn's lawyer accused the panel of basing some its question to Flynn on "fringe news and conspiracy websites and rumors."

Other witnesses have also invoked their right against self-incrimination to refuse to answer the Jan. 6 committee's questions, including Roger Stone, conservative lawyer John Eastman, former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Cark, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, reports the New York Times. Clark—who was facing a potential criminal contempt charge after initially refusing to testify—and his lawyer said the word "fifth" in answer to 146 questions during a deposition, reports the Times. The Post notes that during his 2016 campaign, Trump slammed Hillary Clinton after some of her aides took the Fifth during the investigation of her private email server, saying "only the mob takes the Fifth." (Read more Michael Flynn stories.)

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